Sean Dyche reveals Everton dressing room message ahead of Liverpool
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The Toffees turned an awful run of four losses in their first five games into a run of three wins in four before the international break and, suddenly, there’s hope on Mersyeside once again.
Excellent team performances against Aston Villa, Brentford and Bournemouth have told us one thing, there is life in this Everton squad - but there’s also options for the first time in a long time and that will only help them progress.
Dyche on competition within the squad
Speaking to Evertontv, Dyche spoke on how competition for places is heating up after their recent performances and how it has already taken effect in midfield.
“We’ve got a real battle in there for places,” added the Blues boss. “There’s the three (Onana, Gana and Abdoulaye Doucoure) who have played so much for us, but with Jimmy playing so well, there’s a real competitive element in there.
“We want competition in there. I was pleased with Onana when he came in after Gana got injured. It’s fine lines between who to pick at the moment. We needed to win that game on Saturday, we won it, and the midfield players have played very well, so I’m pleased for both of them.”
The one key factor that has changed Everton
The win over Bournemouth was much-needed and it has already given a huge confidence to the fans and the side as the international break gets underway. On the bench against Bournemouth sat a strong contingent Beto, Youssef Chermiti, Arnaut Danjuma, Lewin Dobbin, Ben Godfrey, Michael Keane, Nathan Patterson and back-up keeper Joao Virginia.
On top of that, Andre Gomes, Dele Alli and Seamus Coleman are also nearing their return from long-term injuries and, despite issues in the summer with recruitment, they now boast a much stronger squad and one that looks capable of moving away from relegation battles.
Furthermore, the biggest key takeaway from their success recently is the fact they have finally found balance in their side. Jack Harrison on the right wing has allowed Dyche to finally have two natural wingers on each flank which has allowed James Garner to return to the middle of midfield.
Plus, Jarrad Branthwaite as a left-footed, left centre-back has helped to sure up the defence and both ends of the pitch look to be in a much better place as a result.
Balance across the pitch, with options off the bench, will allow Everton to be flexible and to make changes which will give them a far better chance of progressing this season and, as Dyche said, ‘it’s another shift forward’.